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12.03 Hot & Now

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Pub 99 to go in at Aku Aku Site

Finally, an effective Ripple: The Lake Ripple Restaurant in Grafton, which has been closed for some time, is about to reopen. The restaurant was recently purchased by James Armour and Charles Barry, who plan on offering a family-style menu. The restaurant’s name will remain the same. We bet the ducks, that used to get left-over treats from many a Lake Ripple diner, will be happy new owners have moved in!

Coes Café sold: The Johns family, long time restaurant owners in Worcester, have sold Coes Café located appropriately enough on Coes Pond. Coes Café had an eclectic menu with some Greek/ Albanian specialties mixed in. The new owner is Alan Dean, who plans no major changes. He will however, provide a more upscale wine list.

New Pub 99: The AKU AKU, located on East Central and Summer Streets, has closed down and the renovations are underway for a new Pub 99 at the location, right off of Route 290. We can’t say that the AKU AKU will be missed. The Chinese eatery had a reputation for mediocre food. The Pub 99, which is geared toward families, will be a decided improvement to the neighborhood, and a help to the nearby Hampton Inn.

Guess who came to dinner? M.A.S.H. star Jamie Farr of Clinger fame was recently seen dining at El Basha’s on Park Ave. Farr was making a guest appearance at Spooky World in Foxboro and took the short ride up to Worcester to visit some family members. Cousins George and Bill Abodeely wanted to take their cousin to “a nice Lebanese restaurant”. The word is that Farr enjoyed the great Middle Eastern fare. No word if Clinger was in drag!

Struck offers new fall menu: The Struck Café which recently moved into new digs on Worcester’s Chandler Street is offering a new fall menu. The heartier fare includes dishes such as Osso Bucco, Dijon-Tapenade Crusted Lamb and a Prosciutto-Wrapped Salmon. The autumn dessert of choice is a maple/blueberry bread pudding served warm with a whiskey butter sauce. Such great comfort food in very pleasant surroundings is an ideal match for Worcester diners.

Al Fresco opens in Holden: Al Fresco, a quaint Italian bistro, recently opened its doors in Holden at 680 Main Street right across from The Blue Plate. The 48-seat restaurant recently moved to this new location in Holden after about a year of operation. Owned by Nick Viapiano, who ten years ago owned Il Forno in Worcester, the restaurant serves a variety of Italian entrees priced between $6 to $13. Al Fresco is BYOB and is open for lunch Tuesday- Saturday 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and for dinner Tuesday-Thursday 4 to 9 p.m., Friday & Saturday until 10 p.m.

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